Police and Youth Justice Board gain extra funds to tackle youth crime

Home Office is targeting the 10 police force areas worst affected by street
crime with extra funds during the course of the year.

Funding of £67m has been made available for
tackling street crime and a further £194m will provide more prison places and
measures to tackle youth crime.

Within that, the Youth Justice Board has been
awarded £6.5m to roll out intensive supervision and surveillance programmes
(ISSPs) over the next five months, and to increase the number of places on
existing schemes.

ISSPs will be extended to a further 33 youth
offending teams in England and Wales. An additional 600 places on ISSPs will be
available for sentenced and remanded young offenders, and the number of places
available to young people on bail will be doubled. A total of 3,500 places each
year will now be available.

YJB chairperson Lord Warner said robust
community remand options and sentences such as ISSPs must be provided if courts
and the public were to be persuaded that custody should be used as a last

ISSPs ensure young offenders are under
surveillance through tracking, electronic tagging, or voice verification. They
initially involve around 25 hours’ contact time a week, including a package of
education, offending behaviour programmes, reparation to victims, and family

The scheme will be extended to all police
forces in outer London boroughs, and to Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, Avon and
Somerset, Wolverhampton, Nottinghamshire, and Thames Valley. These areas, alongside
Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire, and South and West Yorkshire, are
considered to be responsible for 82 per cent of street crime, but the latter
areas are already comprehensively covered by ISSPs.

The home secretary also announced that £36m
of the new funds would be earmarked for the introduction of community support
officers. There will also be 600 new prison places for juveniles, and an
extension of the home detention curfew.

Outlining the spending plans, David Blunkett
said: "This means more officers and a greater presence in the community
fighting street crime throughout the 10 forces taking part in the street crime
reduction programme.

"At the same time, we are ensuring we
have the places for any 12 to 16-year-olds who are remanded into secure
accommodation as a result of powers I announced a few weeks ago."

Study backs use of restorative justice

cautions can play a greater role in preventing re-offending in young offenders
than police cautioning, according to research published by the Joseph Rowntree

of a Thames Valley Police initiative found that offenders who faced their
victims, or had their victims’ views read to them, were only half as likely to
be convicted or cautioned in the following year as those given a standard

and offenders largely took a positive view of restorative sessions, which took
the form of a structured discussion about the harm caused by an offence and how
it could be repaired.

records for 56 young offenders aged between 10 and 17 who were given
restorative cautions during 2000 showed that 14 per cent were convicted in
court or given further cautions during the following year.

An Evaluation of Restorative Cautioning from www.jrf.org.uk

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